Saturday, May 27, 2017

Friends and Fun

Gopher Flats
Moab, UT
May, 2017

The middle and end of May was filled with lots of fun and visits from friends.  First, our friends from Belgium, Guy and Catherine came for a four day visit.  We actually met them here in Moab in 2013 on the primitive trail at Landscape Arch.  They returned for another visit in 2014 for more off-roading and hiking.  We heard from them this past spring and were excited to learn that another visit was in the works for May.  

Moab Friends For Wheeling had a spring highway clean-up planned for May 13.  As always, the fun for the day was Metal Masher Trail afterwards.  

Guy and Catherine met us at the Gemini Bridges parking lot on Hwy 191 for a fun day on the trail.  

The weather was perfect. Our day was full of laughs with lots of "WOW!" moments as both recalled how beautiful it is here. 

 The next day, the club run was Behind the rocks...another trail with spectacular views and action packed obstacles.  Guy and Catherine were up early and eager to hit the trail.
Behind the Rocks is one of the trails that has many intersections and one I don't think I could find our way on.  It seems every time we go, we go a different way.  Jeff was our leader this day and much to my delight he headed straight to the sand dunes..."Wahoo!".  
Looking back from further down the trail, we could see the in the photo below.
BTRs is 12.6 miles with many large ledges no matter which direction you go.  Add another 10.5 miles for the exit route.  The first obstacle is The Gate Keeper...a great warm up for later.  There are obstacles named High Dive and White Knuckle that can cause roll-over.  High Dive has a bypass and White Knuckle (no bypass) has a winch point.  Jeff, driving his samurai buggy which he built himself, was the only vehicle to climb White Knuckle.  He went first and made it look so easy, but it was not meant to be for the rest of us.  We were next to last in line and decided before we began the climb to winch...our first time to ever use a winch.  Looking up at White Knuckle...

 Glen hooking up our winch...
Guy and Catherine's 4 days flew by.  It was great seeing them.  They pulled out on the 17th headed north.  

On Friday the 19th, friends Libby and Corky arrived in Moab.  Corky had just bought a jeep buggy in Havasu and came straight to Moab.  We met the two of them last October.  Corky was anxious to get his new toy on the trail.  The next day, Dee, Corky and Libby and Joe and I planned to do Hell's Revenge.  Ummm, just like us a few months earlier, it wasn't meant to be.

By the time we reached the parking lot, we heard a bad noise under the hood.  Turned out to be the cooling fan.  Joe and Corky spent the rest of the day making a repair.  

With repairs and wiring completed, Steel Bender was the choice for Sunday.  It is practically in our back yard...close to home just in case.  Clouds were dark all afternoon, but we only got a few drops of rain as we were heading out. 

Jeff and Susan led the way followed by Corky then us...

...and Dee brought up the rear.
 There are lots of play areas with steep ledges and off camber spots.  The main obstacle, The Wall, is about 5.2 miles into the trail going from south to north and our turning around point.

What you can not see in the photo is a deep undercut at the bottom of the ledge.  After a couple of tries to get lined up, Jeff goes up first...Wahoo!

...followed by Corky...(his first obstacle in his new jeep buggy) 
...and followed by Dee. 
Because of some geometry issues and the fact that we are about 5 inches too tall, Joe chose the bypass.
 Of course, coming down the bypass was exciting.  Nothing like a wheel lift to get the blood flowing.

Wanting to stay close to home, the next choice of trails was Behind the Rocks.  One might think...again?...but it never looks the same as we never go the same way.  Dee led...we (Corky and Libby, Joe and I) followed !  I like this game of follow the leader !

It was a gorgeous day...mild temps, cool breeze, sunshine and blue skies.  The Gate Keeper once again greeted us.

The Rocks as the locals call them (or you might hear them referred to as The Terra Cotta Warriors) are a scenic highlight.    

 We all opted to bypass High Dive.  Here we are parked in the wash at the bottom of High Dive and are going to climb UpChuck.  UpChuck is a "lesser" obstacle.  Dee describes it "like the wedgy on Poison Spider, but on steroids".    

Dee's photo (thanks Dee) of us climbing UpChuck with High Dive in the background.


 Our time with Corky and Libby went by way too fast.  Plans have been made for a longer visit this fall.  Cant wait !

Looking back on The Rocks.
Until next time...
(Dee's photo) 



  1. Looks like you and your friends are having a great time!! Those skies are beautiful.

    1. Aren't those just the bluest skies Jodee? And just enough clouds to make the photos interesting.

  2. How nice to have several friends come to town to ride with you. More heart stopping rocking climbing. Great photos:)

    1. Thanks Pam. It's always fun doing trails with friends...hiking or wheeling!

  3. We are so glad to be back in the business with a new side by side--you photos make us long for Moab!

    1. We do love it here in Moab. Maybe one day our paths will cross.

  4. Nice trails and a good test of the articulation on Wile E. Not sure if you were showing friends a good time or scaring them :) Great photos!

    1. Thanks Jeff. I am pretty sure everyone had a fun time...with lots of WOW moments and laughs!

  5. I have a feeling your summer is going to be full of lots of riding and enjoying every minute of it.